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Archaeological Report
Harney County Oregon, Range Seeding Projects

Alkali Field

Alkali Field is located directly south of Malheur Lake, a few kilometers east of the Donner und Blitzen River. Water is accessible from Harney Lake near the north end of the project area, but there are no major drainages or springs within the proposed seeding area. Terrain consists of gently sloping irregular hills ranging from just over 4,100 feet to 4,300 feet in elevation. Vegetation is predominantly sagebrush.

The Alkali Field project area was surveyed by Goheen, Loring, Thomas and Sounart in May and June, 1980. The proposed boundaries for the seeding project changed during the course of the survey, with various areas being deleted for different reasons. Some of these areas were surveyed before they were deleted and others were not, so the final survey boundaries extend beyond the final proposed seeding boundaries but do not include the entire original project boundaries.

Unfortunately, inadequate records were kept of which areas were surveyed outside of the final seeding boundaries, so these limits have had to be reconstructed based on where sites were found and the memory (a year later) of one of the people involved in the survey. The acreage figure and survey boundaries are thus only approximate, though everything within the final seeding boundaries was definitely surveyed.

Approximately 6,490 acres, or 2,596 hectares were surveyed. Thirteen flake scatters and five isolated artifacts were identified. Eight sites were less than one hectare in extent, ranging from .003 to .75 hectares with a mean size of .29 hectare. Tools found on these small sites included seven projectile points, four bifaces, one uniface and an unspecified amount of groundstone. Seven of these sites were rated S-3 and one S-2 in significance.

The five larger sites ranged from 1.05 to 16 hectares in extent with a mean size of 7.6881 hectares. Numerous tools were noted at these sites, including 136 projectile points, 72 bifaces, 32 unifaces and an unspecified quantity of groundstone implements. All except one of these large sites were rated S-l in significance, the exception being a site rated S-3.

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